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Ted Lasso's Brendan Hunt Reveals Season 2's True Antagonist - Exclusive

At a certain point in the past decade, the makers of television comedies seemingly began to realize that there's no need to make your characters unlikable in order to make your series funny. Shows like "Parks and Recreation" and "The Good Place" gave us winning casts we could root for and really set the stage, but Apple TV+'s "Ted Lasso" might be the apotheosis of the form. It's all a pretty stark contrast with cynical comedies that gained a foothold in the wake of "Seinfeld." We're talking about shows like "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia," that treat their irredeemable cast as a feature rather than a bug. "Ted Lasso" goes about as far in the other direction as possible, and as a result the first season became a surprise hit, winning people over with its big heart and compassion for just about every one of its characters.

With everyone being so darn likable, how do you go about generating drama? That's the question we put to Brendan Hunt, the "Ted Lasso" writer-producer who also plays the title character's right-hand man, Coach Beard. He spoke to Looper in an exclusive interview on the eve of Season 2's premiere. His answer, as the headlines say, may surprise you.

Ted Lasso has seen the enemy, and it is ourselves

According to Hunt, the makers of "Ted Lasso" looked inward when seeking challenges for their eclectic cast of characters to overcome in the second season. "I guess it just forces you to find different types of antagonists," he said when asked if it's tough creating dramatic tension when everyone's so darned nice. "A lot of times, especially this season, the antagonists are ourselves. We have antagonists within us, and we have situational antagonism to deal with."

In Hunt's view, that focus on the inward battles we all face dealing with our own insecurities and trauma makes for even more interesting storytelling than beats that set characters at loggerheads. "You don't have to pit your characters against each other to have conflict of a different, perhaps richer kind," he said.

"Ted Lasso" is currently premiering new episodes Fridays on Apple TV+.